Trump’s Social Media Posts Test Conditions of His Release in Jan. 6 Case

 Trump’s Social Media Posts Test Conditions of His Release in Jan. 6 Case

Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo

Former President Donald Trump criticized U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan in an early Monday post on Truth Social, defying her recent directive to avoid “inflammatory” comments related to his ongoing case. Labeling Judge Chutkan as “highly partisan,” Trump referred to her previous statement during the sentencing of a Jan. 6 Capitol riot participant as proof of bias.

Chutkan, during the October 2022 sentencing of Christine Priola, had stressed the mob’s allegiance to one individual rather than the Constitution, suggesting the mob acted out of blind loyalty. This sentiment has been shared by several judges handling Jan. 6 riot cases.

Having been charged with attempting to undermine the 2020 election by special counsel Jack Smith, Trump’s recent remarks might expedite his criminal trial. During a hearing last Friday, Chutkan, appointed by then-President Barack Obama in 2014, emphasized her impartiality and cautioned Trump and his legal team against making public inflammatory remarks about the case.

Despite this warning, Trump shared another post accusing Chutkan of planning to tamper with the 2024 election. This is his first direct criticism of the judge since the Friday hearing.

Trump’s calls for Chutkan’s recusal lack a specific rationale and haven’t been supported by his attorney, John Lauro. Lauro has yet to comment on the matter.

Other judges, like U.S. District Court Judges Amit Mehta and Amy Berman Jackson, have also emphasized the difference in consequences between Jan. 6 rioters and Trump, who they suggest incited the attack by propagating false election narratives.

New charges against Trump accuse him of misleading thousands of his supporters before their march on Congress on Jan. 6. The terms set during his recent arraignment prohibit Trump from harassing witnesses and obstructing justice.

Prosecutors have noted Trump’s threatening online remarks and his public criticisms of a potential key witness, Mike Pence. Chutkan’s next steps, in light of Trump possibly breaching his pretrial conditions, remain uncertain. However, she has assured that Trump’s political ambitions will not influence her judicial decisions.

Chutkan, during Priola’s sentencing, highlighted the long-term impact of the Jan. 6 attack on law enforcement and its broader implications for democracy, emphasizing the ongoing trauma experienced by officers and other individuals present that day.

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